Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Busy schedule

I saw this comic on and thought it was quite brilliant.

iRunFar Year in Review

iRunFar asked Sara and I to send in our thoughts on the 2009 season to be included with other trail ultra runners in a retrospective of the year.
We had so many great memories from the year that it was hard to limit it to just a few quick thoughts.
Click here to read the article.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

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Week of Dec 21 - 27

Training Summary:
Encouraging week of running. Was able to do all runs on snowshoes which helped my knee. Feeling in a pretty good place going into next week. If we keep the snow, I think I should be able to continue to cautiously increase runs a little more. Increasing my rehab, which takes so long to do, but seems to be helping to strengthen further. I think it will be a good thing to help bomb proof my legs for when I am able to get back to training like normal.

Got my 20 year streak in on Dec 25... and ran the next day. If my knee had been like it was a few weeks ago, I might not have run on Boxing Day, but seems to be improving. Will keep it going for now.

Total # of hours this week: 3:07
Total # of runs this week: 7
2009 total # of hours: 530:28
2009 total # of runs: 447
Streak: 7,306 days in a row
Training Log Details

Friday, December 25, 2009

20 Year Running Streak

December 25, 2009... Not only is it Christmas Day (and Shane MacGowan's birthday), but also represents exactly 20 years to the day since I took a day off from running.

A lot of things have changed over the years in my life and I feel like I am a somewhat different person than I was in 1989, but the one thing that has been constant is that I have gone for a run each and every day.

I plan to write a little more over the next few days about some of the things I have run through over the years, but right now it feels pretty good to sit back and take a look at the numbers and reflect on some of the runs over the years.

Monday, December 21, 2009

La Sportiva Contest

La Sportiva is continuing to have some great contests on their Mountain Running Blog. Check out this contest for a chance at some great loot! All you have to do to enter is post your Running New Years Resolution.

Dion Snowshoes backordered

The early snowfall has lead to higher than anticipated Dion snowshoe sales so far this year.

Due to overwhelming response, we are temporarily backordered. Our next shipment is expected to arrive within the week.

To guarantee delivery, orders can still be submitted now for priority sequence and will be shipped on the day of backorder arriving.

For more details and to place orders for Dion Snowshoes in Canada, please go to Spafford Health and Adventure. U.S. customers can still place orders directly through Dion Snowshoes in Vermont.

Week of Dec 14 - 20

Training Summary:
Some good, some bad. There were a few days where I felt quite optimistic, while other days where I was pretty frustrated. On the whole though, I do think that my knee is getting stronger and improving. I definitely notice more strength in the quad, but still feel occasional pain. I'm pleased that I was able to increase slightly and get a couple of 30 minute runs that felt like I was actually running again. If we could get just a bit of powder on top of the hard crust, I think I'd feel that much better still while running on snowshoes.

Total # of hours this week: 2:46
Total # of runs this week: 7
2009 total # of hours: 536:21
2009 total # of runs: 442
Streak: 7,299 days in a row
Training Log Details

Friday, December 18, 2009

SHA Holiday Draw

Congratulations to the following winners of the Spafford Health and Adventure - Holiday Draw!

Robyn Vanberkel - Free Entry to Frontenac Snowshoe Race

Donna Malekos - La Sportiva/SHA technical fabric t-shirt

Michelle Pothier - Free Entry to Sydenham Fall Trail Run

Thank you to everyone who entered. Please contact us if you would like to receive our quarterly newsletter that includes event updates, special discounts, free draws and more.
Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Snowshoe Magazine: Snowshoe season underway

Snowshoe season is officially underway now.

The first snowshoe race of the season began this past weekend a few hours to the north of us with the ever challenging Mad Trapper Snowshoe Race near Low, Quebec. It sounded like Mother Nature smiled upon the first race of Mike Caldwell’s popular race series and dumped a whack of fresh snow on the Gatineau Hills the week of the race...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Top 5 Christmas Songs of all time

Having worked a number of Christmas seasons in retail over the years, Christmas music was shoved down my throat very early in the season and most of it was really, really bad. It's not surprising that I have a particular distaste for most of what you hear on the radio or in stores.

I won't list my all-time LEAST favourite Christmas songs as there are far too many, however I do have a small favourite list of Christmas songs. All are original songs by these artists that you will very rarely hear in any store while Christmas shopping or on the radio.


#5. Christmas Lullaby by Shane MacGowan. Best known for another Christmas song with the Pogues, but this is worthy of a top 5 as well.

#4. Merry Christmas I don't wanna fight tonight by the Ramones. They've always had a sense of humour.

#3. Christmas in Prison by John Prine. "Turkeys and pistols carved out of wood" it.

#2. Christmas in Washington by Steve Earle. This is a duet that I just heard with Joan Beaz that I'd never heard before. Very haunting.

#1. Fairytale of New York by The Pogues. A brilliant timeless classic. The video below is great, but I also like this live version.

Thoughts?...have I left out any?

TNF50 video: Caitlin Smith

Last Wednesday I posted a video that JB Benna took of Geoff Roes and Uli Steidl racing at TNF50. Just as equally impressive was La Sportiva Mountain Running Team member Caitlin Smith who won the women's race.

Check out the smooth power that she demonstrated in this video...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Tough night last night as we lost Cody. Very sudden. He was 13 and a half years old, but still behaved like a puppy at times. Definitely not expected.

I ran my first dogsled race a number of years ago in Eldorado with Cody in lead, and we have also raced together in Bancroft, Marmora, Kearney, Fort Kent Maine and Craftsbury Vermont.

Dispite his serious nature and being all business most of the time, Cody had a sense of humour as well. Once at Marmora, the conditions were very icy and the sled flipped on a corner. I hit a snowbank hard and couldn't hang on to the sled. Cody looked back at me and smiled as he picked up the pace and left me to run the mile to the turnaround point at the aid station where he was happily hanging out and rolling around in the snow.
While Cody hasn't raced in a few years now, he enjoyed his retirement and still had a good year of recreational dogsledding last winter.

Cody was a great lead dog and great friend, who will be missed by all of us in the pack.
Kearney Dogsled Race...

Fort Kent Maine...Hanging out after a game of hockey...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Week of Dec 7 - 13

Training Summary:
~ The snow and snowshoes has been a good thing for my knee this week. A little softer.

Total # of hours this week: 2:26
Total # of runs this week: 7
2009 total # of hours: 533:35
2009 total # of days: 358
2009 total # of runs: 435
Streak: 7,292 days in a row
Training Log Details

Friday, December 11, 2009

Canadian ice climber dies

I'm not a climber myself, but I've always been fascinated by the sport and could relate to the passion involved. If you check out our wall of books at home, we probably have almost as many climbing books as running books.

I was saddened to hear that Canadian climber Guy Lacelle died yesterday in an avalanche in Montana. Guy was a very well known climber and was a member of the La Sportiva Climbing Team.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Nov 30 - Dec 6: Inspiration from Uli and Roes

When you're injured and only shuffling 20 minutes each day, all you want to do is just get out on the trails and fly again. My knee injury continues to improve, but it will be a little while still before I'm running full tilt again.

Luckily, I stumbled across this great footage of Uli Steidl and Geoff Roes hammering at TNF50 this past weekend. While it wasn't quite like being out there on the trails yourself, it was certainly the next best thing.

Thanks JB, Uli and Geoff. Very therapeutic. Enjoy!

Training Summary:
Total # of hours this week: 2:21
Total # of runs this week: 7
2009 total # of hours: 531:09
2009 total # of days: 347
2009 total # of runs: 427
Streak: 7,285 days in a row
Training Log Details

Saturday, December 5, 2009

No Western Love For Me

The Western States 100 gods were not smiling upon me today. The lottery has taken place and doesn't look like my name got pulled. With a 1 in 5 chance of getting in, I'm not really surprised, but it was fun to think about.

There were over 1500 runners trying to get in and I just can't help but think that there is a better system than what was implimented this year. To be eligible, it just amounted to a click of a link and your name was put in the draw. No real commitment. Kind of makes you wonder how many people just signed up for the lottery on a whim and have no real interest in actually running. Taking credit card information and making it manditory to have completed a 100miler previously would have been a good start in weeding out the people who may not be serious in actually running it. There has been lots of discussion about WS100 on various other blogs recently and what they should have done. I'm sure there will be plenty more discussion in the future too.

Oh well, maybe next year. Yeah, I'm a little disappointed, but certainly won't loose any sleep over it. There are lots of other great races to plan for which I'm sure will be just as, if not more, exciting.

Now, if I can just get my knee healed up and can start training hard and planning for what that next race is going to be.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New SHA website launch

I'm pleased to announce the launch of the new and improved website for Spafford Health and Adventure.

It's been a great deal of work, but I'm finally reasonably pleased with where it's at. The fresh look is quite different from my old website with a number of new things added. The biggest change is that I now can offer an online store for the Canadian Sales of Dion Snowshoes as well as for purchasing Spafford Health and Adventure Coaching Services. Shameless plug: if you know of anyone who could benefit from either, please feel to forward my website on to them.

There are still a few things that need to be tweaked with the site, including race pages for the Sydenham Fall Trail Run and the upcoming Snowshoe Race, but I plan to have those added in the near future. Check back often for updates.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Week of November 23-29: Waiting for a Green Light

Western States 100 Lottery:
This weekend may find me glued to the laptop a little more than normal. The Western States lottery takes place on Saturday and I’ll have my fingers and toes crossed that I get drawn. I’d love to get in and the race will be the focus of the year if I do. With about an 18% chance of getting in, I’m not holding my breath though.

North Face 50:
Also of interest this weekend will be the North Face 50. Should be an awesome race and will be interesting to see how it plays out. Look for Uli Steidl and Geoff Roes to battle it out. Canadian darkhorse Jason Loutitt is racing as well and could surprise many with a high placing. With $10,000 on the line for the win, it’s sure to be a battle.

Some encouraging runs for me from this past week. Continue to see improvement, but resisting the urge to rush back too quickly. Knee is more stiffness now as opposed to pain. I’ll probably take another week of 20mins per day and then hope to be given the green light to start increasing. My quads seem to be getting stronger and more balanced, and my knee seems to be tracking better in my runs. I’m also able to run faster than I have been with less discomfort. All good. Onward.

Total # of hours this week: 2:21
Total # of runs this week: 7
2009 total # of hours: 528:48
2009 total # of days: 340
2009 total # of runs: 420
Streak: 7,278 days in a row
Training Log Details